The Local Government Association has announced the 17 successful applicants for its Housing Advisers Programme 2020/21 (HAP), an innovative scheme to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas, address the impact of COVID-19 on the housing crisis and meet the housing needs of local communities.
The HAP is a key part of the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer, which delivers robust peer challenges and support to help councils improve performance, become more efficient and effective in delivering for their local residents and share good practice.
The programme is designed to support councils by funding the provision of independent expertise for councils undertaking specific projects to tackle the effects of the housing crisis in their local communities.
In the previous three years of the programme, the LGA has funded more than 100 projects across England, helping councils build homes, reduce homelessness and rough sleeping, plan for ageing populations, explore the potential of zero carbon housing, understand the student housing market, increase supply of modular housing and more.
This year’s successful applicants are: Isle of Wight Council; Sunderland City Council; Wokingham Borough Council; West of England Combined Authority; Oxford City Council; Hertsmere Borough Council; Castle Point Borough Council; South Gloucestershire Council; Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames; King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council; Hertfordshire County Council, as lead partner of the Hertfordshire Property Partnership (HPP); Cornwall Council; Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; East Riding of Yorkshire Council; Mid Devon District Council; Bristol City Council; Council of the Isles of Scilly
The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, has awarded up to £20, 000 to each project for the purpose of securing expert advice to drive forward locally-led solutions to housing challenges.
The projects include developing carbon-neutral homes, delivering custom & self-build housing, redesigning homelessness prevention services to address the impacts of COVID-19 and delivering affordable housing through the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) .
Following the programme, knowledge and expertise learnt and developed will be shared with other councils and become part of the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer.
Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesperson, said:
“We are delighted to announce the successful applicants of the latest round of the Housing Advisers Programme.
“The Housing Advisers Programme is an important part of the LGA’s sector-led improvement offer, working in partnership with central government to empower councils to meet their local challenges. HAP has delivered huge benefits to councils since it was first launched, helping local areas address the challenges of the housing crisis.
“It has proven an excellent source of knowledge and expertise for councils, sharing innovative ideas and ways to improve whether it’s building new homes, tackling homelessness or planning thriving and flourishing places and economies.”